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Before you begin… This project is designed to show you all the techniques you need to know for this style of bracelet. You can then adapt and change the design to suit your needs. To make several bracelets it’s a good idea to divide up your materials first.You may want to reduce the length of the feature section and increase the strap length or make a really fancy bracelet (see the ‘take it further’ step below) by using lots of beads.By substituting seed beads along the sides you can make your kit go further. So you could make one feature bracelet or 2/3 bracelets with small feature sections in the centre and longer plain straps.
Thread a needle onto either end of 200cm of beading thread. String 1 seed bead and push to the middle. Then, pass both strands, in the same direction through a large 10mm bead and 2 seed beads. Push down to the single seed bead.
Onto each strand string two seed beads. Then pass both strands, in the same direction through 2 seed beads and a 10mm bead. Push down. Repeat once more. In the rest of this project the words seed bead will be abbreviated to ‘sb’.
Pass both strands, in the same direction through 1 sb. Onto each strand string 2sb. Cross through a small 4mm bead – this means you are passing both strands, in the opposite direction through that bead. Pull tight (see our Top Tip).
Onto each strand string 2sb and a 4mm. Cross through a 10mm bead. Pull tight
Onto each strand string a 4mm and 2sb. Cross through another 4mm bead. Pull tight. Repeat steps 4 & 5 four more times.
Don’t worry that you have a large gap between the 4mm beads as this space will be filled later in the project. For now just keep a firm but not over-tight tension.
Onto each strand string 2sb. Then pass both strands in the same direction through 1sb, a 10mm and 2sb. Onto each strand string 2sb. Then pass both strands in the same direction through 2sb, a 10mm and 2sb.
Onto one strand string sufficient beads to form a loop that your bead will fit through, this will be around 25sb but do check! Pass the other needle around the loop going in the opposite direction. Then, pass both strands back through 2sb and the 10mm. To remove the gap in the beads, hold the loop in one hand as you pull both threads with the other.
Pass both needles back down the bracelet in the same way as you added the beads. When you reach the 4mm bead added in step 5, cross through it. Pass one needle through the next 2sb and 4mm bead. String a 4mm bead and go through the next 4mm, 2sb and cross through the middle 4mm. Repeat with the other strand.
Pass each needle through the next 2sb and 4mm bead. Add further 4mm side beads as you did in step 9 remembering to cross through the middle 4mm bead. Make sure your thread is firm but not overtight.
Finish by crossing through the last 4mm bead. Knot your threads to the work and weave the free ends up the strap knotting a couple more times. Add dabs of glue to the knots if desired. Trim the excess. If you’re totally happy with this design you could stop here! To continue on, and add embellishments, thread a needle onto either end of 70cm of beading thread. Pass one needle through the last 4mm bead you came through in step 10 so that you have an equal amount of thread either side of it.
Pass each needle through the next 2sb and two 4mm. On one needle string 3sb and a bicone. On the other string 3sb, a bicone and 1sb.
Cross the first needle through the last single seed bead on the other strand. Onto each needle string a bicone and 3sb.
Secure the cross shape by passing each needle through the second 4mm bead – these are the side ones you added in step 9. Repeat the stringing order in steps 12 to 14 to add three more cross shapes – you only need to pass through the side beads to secure each cross. When you reach the end go through the next 4mm, 2sb and cross through the last 4mm. Knot the both thread to your work. You can either go back through the embellishments to reinforce or weave up through the strap, knotting a couple more times. Add dabs of glue to the knots if desired. Trim the excess.
For a really wowy bracelet omit the strap part of the project and go straight into forming the base feature section – you’ll still need nine 10mm bead. Add one colour of bicone in place of the 4mm side beads. You’ll have just enough bicones left to embellish all but the ends of the base feature.
Top Tip. When you cross your thread through a bead it’s easy to get the longer threads in a tangle when tightening down to the beadwork. Try holding both needle together in one hand as you slide the bead down with your other hand.